Craig Taylor was "spot on." I have seen far too many DATA buses sitting empty. They used to hide over at the Willow Creek Cinema. I picked up a lady at Harbor Tower going to the hospital.
She said that DATA said they had no buses for at least two hours. We saw one at Burger King, empty. Okay, maybe the driver was on lunch. Another bus was sitting at Shopko. No driver. Two buses were at the cinema parking lot. And as we were turning in to the hospital, another bus was pulling in.
If you need a ride you have to call 24 hours in advance. Why?
If you have to get somewhere for an appointment, you have to plan on being on a bus at least 45 minutes in advance. A ride across town could end up going through Wells or Danforth first.
I used to pick up three residents at Bridgewood Adult Foster Home and take them to Lakestates. I remember at least three times pulling up to Bridgewood behind two DATA buses. All three vehicles picked up their passengers and then all three of us went directly to Lakestates. Both buses were half full. It is simple dispatching. Any taxi driver could do it. If I had that many vehicles, it would be a dream to dispatch, and it would not be 24 hours in advance.
DATA bus funding requests are printed in the newspaper. I have a couple of clippings. One was for $653,000, another for almost $700,000. They have received at least eight new buses in the last few years.
They fuel up at the municipal gas depot. That way they don't have all the taxes to pay.
I think Escanaba needs a bus service. I just believe that it could be, and should be, run better, more efficiently.
I definitely could do a better job, but I am not one of the good ole boys. I believe that DATA bus needs to be re-organized. It doesn't need more money until they figure out where all the money is going. It's the Post Office. Just keep throwing money at it.